COLLEGE STATION – John Coppernoll of TEEX’s Emergency Services Training Institute has been awarded the prestigious Regents Fellow Service Award by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. The annual award is the highest honor given by the Board of Regents and recognizes employees who have made exemplary contributions to their university or agency and to the people of Texas.
Coppernoll was recognized for his 30 years of hard work, dedication, and commitment to firefighter training and to ensuring the safety of both firefighters and the citizens they serve. His tireless efforts, leadership skills and technical talent are among the reasons the TEEX emergency services campus (Brayton Fire Training Field, Emergency Operations Training Center and Disaster City) is a global benchmark as a world-class training facility. Recognized for his leadership and vision, Coppernoll is a two-time recipient of TEEX’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award.
“As Program Director for Facilities Maintenance and Construction, John is responsible for every training prop, building, and improvement project on the 279-acre campus,” said Gary Sera, Director and CEO of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). “In this role, he wears many hats; sometimes architect, designer or builder. But above all, John is a problem-solver. For three decades, his thoughtful leadership, passion for service, and unique vision for innovative solutions have had a profound impact on TEEX’s ability to serve the state and citizens of Texas and beyond.”
Coppernoll has designed and implemented new features in the training environment that not only enhance the training experience but extend the life of the props, allowing the agency to minimize costs and keep training affordable. His designs for the various props have been studied and replicated all across the globe. He has created customized structures and testing environments for industrial clients, resulting in several contributions that have been adopted as world-wide standards.
Supporting Coppernoll is a first-class team of technicians whose pride and efforts are evident every day on the Brayton Fire Training Field. “John would be the first to tell you that he shares this honor with his team,” Sera added. “During his tenure at the Brayton Fire Training Field, he has mentored dozens upon dozens of co-workers and student field technicians. He inspires in them a tremendous work ethic and a sense of pride, conveying to them the importance of the realistic training the first responders receive when they come to TEEX. The props they maintain and repair provide the skills that literally save lives.”